Chief of Heaven 2: Trial by Fire by Joolz
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Category: Teal'c/Sam, Jack/Daniel
Genres: Angst, Drama, Established Relationship, Hurt/Comfort, Team
Rated: Adult
Warnings: Adult Themes
Series: Chief of Heaven
Summary: When the team meets Min in person, each is pushed to the edge. And beyond.

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Author's Chapter Notes:
language; one torture scene; intense, dark, challenging sexual situations; graphic sex; angst and more angst
Jack knew that it was going to be another briefing about Min, and was determined to behave himself this time. He thought he'd probably gotten all that out of his system by now, and besides, what other surprises could there possibly be?

Also, Jack was a lot mellower these days, so much so that people were commenting on it. He was getting funny looks when instead of scathing sarcastic comments, he responded with smiles and supportive praise. If he kept this up, everyone on base was going to figure out he was in love and having the best sex of his life, and then it wouldn't be long till the coin dropped about with whom. Maybe a little intentional ragging here and there would be in order. --I can do that. For a good cause and all.--

The object of his obsession walked in with his usual assortment of papers and gadgets and proceeded to scatter them all over his section of the table. God, that man was cute. Adorable. Cuddly. Hot. --Whoa there, tongue back in mouth. We're going for 'Good old Jack' here, not pod person softie.--

He drawled, "So you need some help with y'r pencil case there, Daniel?"

The scientist just looked puzzled.

--Lame, O'Neill. Pathetic. The kid's really taken your edge off. Hadn't foreseen this particular problem.--

General Hammond cleared his throat and began, "Dr. Jackson, I understand you have some more information regarding the Goa'uld Min. I trust everyone will be on their most professional behavior during this discussion." He sent a warning glance around the table.

"Yes, General. You all recall that I reported that the temple we found on T5R-169 contained very little information." They nodded. "Well, I was wrong about that."

Sam was surprised. "I thought that aside from the, er, instructions on the door, there wasn't anything else written there."

"There wasn't. There were no other clear symbols or language, but that doesn't mean there was no message."

Daniel dimmed the lights and brought a picture up on the screen. It showed the ceiling of the sanctuary with the starry design on a blue background. "This, I believe, is a note telling us where they went."

"Care to explain that, Doctor?"

"Egyptian art was very controlled, with no place for free artistic expression. They considered a work to be a great success if it was identical to the other paintings or carvings that had come before it. Normally, this kind of night sky painting has evenly spaced, orderly stars. This one breaks that tradition." Daniel zoomed in on one portion of the ceiling. "See how the stars are loosely grouped together in what appears to be a cluster? Compare that pattern to this." Another image appeared alongside the painted stars. It was one of the gate symbols, and the similarity was noticeable if you connected the dots.

Jack grinned, "Damn, Daniel, you're good. Takes me back to the old days, you seeing the constellations in the gate glyphs."

"Well, it was a bit easier this time, I've been looking at these symbols for years now."

Hammond asked, "Does the painting give us a full gate address?"

"Yes, it does." A picture of the entire ceiling came up alongside a set of seven glyphs. "I've already checked the computer, and this isn't an address we've come across before. It isn't on the Abydos Cartouche, nor is it one of the ones Jack gave us from the Ancients."

"And you're suggesting SG1 follow this up? We don't know what you would find over there. It could well be a Goa'uld stronghold."

"That's just it. We don't know. I'm not insisting that we go. I mean, whether Min is there or not I don't know what strategic advantage we could obtain. But that's the point of what we do. We go to new worlds to find out who and what is there, and this is no different. Except that it's possible the other Goa'uld don't know this address, which means there might be some technology that they haven't scavenged yet. And if we did go we'd have a better idea of what to expect than we usually do."

Teal'c spoke, "DanielJackson may be correct. I never heard of Min in all my years with Apophis, so if he is still alive then he may be in hiding. If he or his people went to this planet, they may continue in isolation there."

O'Neill raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders at the General. "Your call, sir."

Hammond thought for a moment. "We'll send a probe through. If there are any indications at all of Goa'uld on the planet, then it's a no go."

Daniel nodded, and Sam offered, "We'll get right on it, sir."

The General looked piercingly at her. "And I want utmost care taken with anything you people might bring back. I will not tolerate a repeat of the last fiasco. Understood?"

The woman paled. "Yes sir, perfectly."

Jack shot her yet another look to say 'I'm sorry I got you into this'. She'd done as he requested and turned on the 'Hard-On Generator' for a brief time in the SGC. The General had not been amused. Not in the slightest. She hadn't had a dressing down like that since she'd been a cadet. Jack wished he could have taken the flak for her, and had indeed tried, but alien technologies were her responsibility, and in the General's unambiguous opinion she should have used better judgment.

If he'd been able to take the heat on it, Jack definitely would have thought the little episode worthwhile. The uncontrollable arousal the men on base had experienced was very effective in curbing the sniggers and jokes that had been following SG1 around for days. Not to mention the unspeakable photo manipulations!

"Alright, people, we'll see what you find and make the call then. You're dismissed."

General Hammond left the room but SG1 remained seated.

Jack asked, "Is anyone a little nervous about looking up old Min again? I mean, it worked out pretty well in the end last time, but he's obviously someone who pushes the envelope in terms of socially acceptable behavior. Even if it's only some of his followers there, they could be, you know, friendlier than your average native."

They thought about it for a minute. At last Teal'c spoke, "We shall have to be exceedingly cautious if this mission is approved. I do not wish a recurrence of our previous experience. My body is mine alone to use or share as I choose. I do not appreciate being manipulated in such a fashion."

O'Neill agreed. "I'm with you on that. Just so we all know what the stakes are..."

Daniel affirmed, "We'll be careful," and Sam nodded in conformity.

"Then let's go see what there is to see."

The gate engaged without delay when the new coordinates were entered. The remote reconnaissance devices revealed a panorama surprisingly distinct from T5R-169. Where the previous planet had been an exuberant tropical jungle, the new one appeared more like a highly landscaped urban park. The Stargate was located in the midst of a large square of green, neatly trimmed grass, set in smooth paving stones like a decorative ornament.

Groups of people were scattered about on the grass, which was bordered by graceful marble buildings accented with clumps of trees and small flower beds. The people, who seemed to have been lounging or playing games, reacted to the activation of the Gate and the appearance of the MALP with surprise, exclaiming excitedly and pointing, but without fear.

The SGC techs sent through the UAV to get a wider view of the area, and the images revealed more of the same kinds of attractive structures set into pleasing greenery. Half a kilometer away the buildings became larger, more official looking, and beyond that was a single sprawling complex surrounded by a low wall.

The overflight generated more interest on the part of the locals, and the group observing from the SGC was able to get a good look at many of them. The people appeared to come in all sizes, shapes and colors, and were wearing loose, summery clothing. There were some small motorized people carriers in use on the winding walkways, but no sign of larger transport vehicles.

The readings pouring in from the MALP indicated perfectly breathable atmosphere, with signs of light industrialization. There were no Jaffa in evidence, and no signs of Goa'uld style architecture.

Watching through the video link as a small group cautiously approached the MALP for a better look, Daniel commented, "Well, we've certainly announced ourselves. Maybe we'd better go say hello in person."

Jack entered the locker room and found his Daniel changing clothes before the mission. Peering quickly around the facility he determined that they were alone. Hmmm, his Daniel was showing quite a bit of skin just at the moment. The scientist stood, stepped into his combat trousers and began to pull them up, but Jack shmoozed on up behind him and breathed onto the back of his neck, "Hey there, gorgeous."

Daniel shivered and scolded over his shoulder, "Not at the office, dear, you know the rules."

"Made to be broken."

"Not this one."

Jack ignored him and slid his fingers under the waistband of Daniel's briefs and ran them back and forth sensually across the skin at the top of his buttocks.


O'Neill pulled the elastic of the waistband away and released it with a snap before moving his hand lower to cup a cheek through the soft cotton. He murmured suggestively, "Maybe later I can straighten your straps for you."

"God, Jack, would you stop!"

The older man leered over his shoulder at the growing evidence of the effect he was having, "My, my. Look who's come out to play. If you go out in the hall with that much of your assets on display you'll definitely be considered a hazard, and I might have to discipline you. I'd better take some preventive action."

Daniel was holding his pants at thigh level and belatedly tried to finish pulling them on, but Jack's hands were in the way.

Suddenly the locker room door opened, and Jack jumped away trying to look casual. Thank god, it was only Teal'c. The Jaffa narrowed his eyes at the pair, and Daniel joined him by turning and glaring at his CO accusingly, pants now securely buttoned and zipped.

Jack sighed loudly. "I know, I know, not on base. But can't a guy have a little fun once in a while?"

Teal'c admonished, "O'Neill, I am familiar with the regulations regarding personal conduct to which you are subject. If you continue to behave inappropriately, you will have ample time in a jail cell during which to amuse yourself. Is that your intent?"

Jack sighed again, more sincerely. "Okay, I'm sorry." He included both the men in his apology, serious now. "It just takes a little getting used to, is all."

Daniel's expression softened. "I know, but if we aren't going to let anything come between us, it's going to take willpower and focus. Concentrate on what's important here. That's us, but that's also the big picture. So keep it in your pants at work, Jack, and keep your mind out'a mine."

O'Neill nodded and soberly went to his own locker and changed clothes. He really hoped that he could adjust to the new game plan. He hoped they all could. Carter and Teal'c were now definitely an item, as were he and Daniel. It was so soon, though. It had been less than a month since that life changing visit to 169, and they had yet to settle into a new team dynamic anywhere near as seamless as before. They were overcautious about appearances on the one hand, and on the other sometimes they still slipped up, and he knew he was the worst. He worried, and he suspected the others did too, that the new arrangement wasn't going to work out. It was one thing to say that what everyone else at the SGC didn't know wouldn't hurt them, including General Hammond. It was another to live and breathe in violation of the regs he'd sworn to uphold. Jack thought that he would be willing to say to hell with how their team was supposed to be, if he were sure that how it was could still get the job done.

He thought about his team. Carter was still the same, still brilliant and caring. Teal'c was still wise and strong. Daniel was still a leap ahead of everyone else, and he himself was still damn lucky to have this job. But it was like too much of the personal stuff between them had shifted too fast, and they were trying to catch up. They just had to find a way through this.

--Willpower and focus. Concentrate. It'll have to be enough.--

Teal'c waited for Samantha to emerge from her turn in the locker room. As she came out the door she looked up from fastening her vest, saw him standing there leaning against the wall, and her face lit up. He let his own joy project back to her through his sparkling eyes. Teal'c couldn't fault O'Neill for his enthusiasm, young love was a heady thing, but it was necessary for its outward manifestations to be much more subtle.

So this couple limited themselves to grinning foolishly at each other in the hallway. If anyone asked, they could say they were merely sharing the latest Jaffa joke. After a moment, they turned and began the walk to the Stargate. Neither spoke, but their laughing eyes were never long parted.

Teal'c continued to be amazed that the fates had seen fit to grant him such a boon, the regard of this amazing female. He was unsure what such an intelligent, beautiful, and passionate woman saw in him, a simple warrior, but see something she did. O'Neill often said that the ways of scientists were strange and incomprehensible, and perhaps this was the explanation.

Anyway, Teal'c recalled with wonder that night on T5R-169, when he had sat in their tent struggling and failing to find his way into kel'noreem, only to be pulled back to the present moment by a soft touch on his cheek. He had opened his eyes to find her golden haired, blue eyed face floating before his own. Tentatively, unsure of his reaction, she had spoken words that he himself had longed to articulate. She had spoken of her growing attraction to him, and of her concern for what consequences it might bring, but also of her desire to share that night with him.

He had responded by telling her of his feelings, assuring her that he did not need the assistance of Min to express his appreciation of her, and that it needn't be for just one night. He had enfolded her in his arms, lowered her gently to the ground, and slowly they had explored the familiar yet new territory of their bodies. The first time had been almost reverent. The second almost violent. It was a territory only partially mapped, the pleasure of discovery constant.

Teal'c thought that the other half of SG1 had perhaps been preparing for their union for some time. Not so himself and SamanthaCarter. He had had responsibilities only recently resolved by Drey'auc's official termination of their marriage. Samantha's personal life had been in turmoil for years, due to a series of tragedies and misunderstandings.

They had found in each other an unexpected oasis in the pain and loneliness of their lives. Now they walked side by side down the halls of the SGC as so often before, their years of mutual respect and quiet friendship transformed into elation in the presence of the other.

They approached the heavy steel doors leading to the gateroom. "Are you prepared, SamanthaCarter?"

That smile again. "Always, Teal'c. You know it."

Daniel and Jack waited at the bottom of the ramp for the rest of the team to arrive. Jack moved around in front of Daniel, and fiddled with the straps of his pack. Just for an instant, Jack allowed a message to appear in his eyes. It said, 'Even if I can't show you now, know that you're loved, oh archaeologist mine.' Daniel's eyes lit up and he clamped down on a smile as he quickly glanced away, then turned as the door opened. When Sam and Teal'c walked in, they looked like two cats who'd swallowed canaries, and they probably thought they were being discreet. Daniel imagined that if it were possible to harness the energy shooting around between the four of them, it would probably be more powerful than a naquadah generator.

Jack grinned at the new arrivals. "Nice of you to join us!"

"It is our pleasure, O'Neill."

"I'm sure it is."

The amplified voice of the man standing in the Control Room sounded out loud and clear. "SG1, are you ready to go?"

Jack called back, "Yes, sir. Ready as we'll ever be."

"Activating dialing sequence now. Good luck, people."

The giant ring began its rotation.

Going to this planet had been Daniel's idea. Why then did he feel so nervous about it? Why did he have the urge to call up to them to abort the dial-out, forget it, we're not going? Everything checked out on the recon, so what was the problem?

Min. Min was the problem. It didn't look like there was Goa'uld influence on this planet, but what if they were wrong? Goa'uld were always bad news. They tended to try and kill Jack. Or himself. Or Sam, or Teal'c. He was really not feeling up to one of those encounters right now.

The wormhole engaged, and they walked up the ramp. It's not like backing out was an option. They were SG1. They would boldly go where angels feared to tread. Jack disappeared into the event horizon followed closely by Sam. Teal'c was waiting for Daniel to proceed, so he took a last breath and stepped through himself.

After the usual wild ride, he stepped out on the other end. The scene was much like they'd last seen it. It was a sunny day, and quite a few people were approaching, leaving their leisure activities in favor of the new arrivals.

Jack looked back at him, "Daniel, you're on."

Daniel stepped forward and called out to the group of men, women and children, "Hello! I'm Daniel Jackson, from the planet Earth. Can you understand me?"

One man answered graciously, "Yes, and welcome to Ahkmim. Blessings be upon the travelers."

On the surface that sounded encouraging, but not necessarily. In addition to being a human sexual fertility god, one of Min's other aspects was the protector of travelers. And Ahkmim was one of Min's holy sites in Egypt.

He continued, "This is Jack O'Neill, Samantha Carter and Teal'c. We've come to learn about your world and share knowledge. Is there someone specific we should speak with? Your leaders or scholars?"

The crowd, now numbering at least twenty, had closed in around SG1. A woman answered, "Our Adored One will wish to greet you himself. We will take you to him."

Jack spoke up, "Your adored one?"

Another woman answered, "Yes, you will have the great fortune of receiving the personal attention of the Most High." The group began to move, herding the team along with them. They walked past the DHD toward the edge of the green space.

Jack tried to get their attention. "Hold on now. Tell us a little more about this adored one."

The crowd kept them moving. It wasn't hostile, rather pleased and friendly, however the only way they could have resisted was with physical force.

A man responded, ecstatically, "The Adored One cares for us. He provides us with the bounty of life, so that we never want for anything. He gives us pleasure and abundance. He is powerful but merciful."

Jack growled a question, "Daniel?"

Daniel looked back at him. "I don't know!" He turned to the people beside him. "Is your Adored One a human man?"

The first woman answered, "A man, yes. Yet so much more. You are most fortunate to be received by him."

"Does he have a name?"

"Our Adored One is called Min."

The four stopped in their tracks. Jack called out, "That's it! Back to the gate."

The archaeologist thought, --I knew it, I knew it. Damn Goa'uld are everywhere we go! Maybe we can still get out of this.--

Daniel tried to smooth it over, "I'm afraid we can't stay today. We need to go home, but we'll return another day to meet with Min. We'll bring appropriate gifts to honor him." They tried to turn back, but the crowd, which had now grown, wouldn't budge.

"Oh, no. That won't be possible. The High One has asked that all visitors be brought before him to receive his blessing. You are most honored to be granted this personal audience. Our Lord is great and loving and wise."

Jack brought up his gun, Sam and Teal'c followed suit. Jack snapped, "No, really. The man said not today, and not today it is. Stand back and let us pass."

As the team tried to force their way through, the crowd closed ranks. A man spoke, "I do not understand. Why do you resist the blessing?"

Jack had gone deadly serious. "Because we need to go home right now. Thanks for the hospitality, but don't try to stop us."

Another man asked, "You refuse to come?"

"That's right, now let us through."

The man shook his head sadly, and raised his hand. Across the palm was a metallic device.

Sam called a warning, "Be careful, that's a...!"

Then in the middle of a bright, sunny day, all went dark.

Sam awoke lying on the floor. It wasn't a cold, dark dungeon as she would have expected, but a pleasant airy room with oversized cushions spread over the floor, one of which was tucked under her head. The Colonel was already up and prowling around the room. Teal'c was lying at her feet, beginning to stir, and Daniel sprawled to one side. They didn't have their weapons or packs.

She blinked and pulled herself up. O'Neill noticed her movement and came over to squat beside Teal'c. As he shook the Jaffa's shoulder he asked her, "Okay, Carter?"

"Yes, sir. I think so."

Teal'c's large hand shot up and wrapped itself around Jack's wrist. "I am awake, O'Neill."

"Good." He stood and walked over to Daniel, but didn't immediately kneel beside him. Jack looked around the room again, like he was expecting something to jump out at them, then nudged Daniel's hip with the toe of his boot. Sam suspected he was trying to avoid showing favoritism, so as to not give the enemy something to use against them. Excellent point, duly noted.

She glanced briefly at Teal'c as she stood up, just to be sure he was okay, then turned away and scanned the room again. "Well, this is an unusual Goa'uld holding cell."

"Ya think? C'mon, Danny, up and at 'em."

The younger man groaned and rolled over on his side to avoid the prodding foot, then jerked to a sitting position. His eyes were wide behind his glasses as he looked around. "Min. We were captured and brought to Min."

"That's my rocket scientist. Oh, sorry. Carter's the rocket scientist. You figured it out anyway, though. Congratulations."

Great. If the Colonel was snapping at Daniel, he must be plenty worried. Not that she wasn't.

The door slid open, and an entourage of scantily dressed men and women flowed in, bearing trays and jugs. They moved around SG1 as though they weren't there, arranging cushions on the floor surrounding a display of food and drink. Then they disappeared back out the door they had entered.

As the last one passed, a tall man stepped into the room. He looked young, maybe mid twenties, and had olive skin, long dark hair and startling green almond shaped eyes. His body was slim yet muscular, and they could easily see most of it. He wore only a long split skirt of a clinging, semi-transparent material which was largely open in the front revealing his long legs as he walked. His physical appearance together with a powerful charismatic presence made him one of the most handsome men Sam had ever laid eyes on.

Min, so she assumed, strode gracefully forward into the room, and all four members of SG1 stared at him openmouthed as he moved. The compelling figure turned a dazzling smile on them and held out his hands in greeting. His voice rumbled slightly, but did not carry the usual deep Goa'uld resonance. "Welcome to my home. It has been many years since I have had the pleasure of greeting travelers to my kingdom." He motioned to the feast laid out on the floor. "Please sit, and join me in a small meal. Tell me about yourselves."

Daniel cleared his throat, and with his eyebrows pulled together and lifted up asked hesitantly, "You, uh, you are Min, right?"

The face grew even more stunning as he beamed his pleasure at Daniel. "Yes, lovely boy, I am Min!"

Daniel had to ask, "And you are a Goa'uld, right?"

Teal'c intoned disapprovingly, "He is," and didn't take his eyes off their host,

Min turned to him, and his expression saddened. "A Jaffa. I have not encountered one of your kind in nearly a thousand years. You are impressive, I see Apophis continues to choose his First Primes well."

"I no longer serve the false god. I have joined these warriors in their efforts to defeat the Goa'uld."

"This is good to hear, because Apophis would not be welcome here. You," he motioned to the three others, "are not Goa'uld. Though you," he approached Sam and touched her cheek, "are haunted by the ghost of one." He turned again and sat gracefully on a cushion. "Please join me, and we shall learn of one another."

Sam looked at the Colonel who was observing the alien with skepticism. He glanced at the open doorway noting that there were no guards posted.

Min spoke again. "You are the leader, and think to remove your friends from the danger you perceive in my presence. Understandable, but you may not go, not until we have gotten to know each other better. Join me."

O'Neill frowned. "Then you will let us leave?"

"If you still so desire it, yes."

Jack held Min's gaze for a moment, then glanced at his teammates and nodded briefly. The four seated themselves in front of the Goa'uld keeping the dishes between them.

As she sat, Sam suddenly noticed that Min's cross-legged position had caused his split skirt to fall to the sides of his thighs, opening it all the way up to the waist band. His semi-engorged penis lay in plain sight, and it was...long. And thick. And... She tore her eyes away quickly, only to see that the others had also noticed their host's exposure. All three of them were staring openly, while Min smiled at them in amusement. She was sure the display was intended to provoke just this reaction.

Daniel nudged Jack with his elbow. "There, you have the answer to your question."

Min leaned forward and asked, "What question was that?"

Jack wrenched his eyes upward and managed to answer. "I'd seen pictures of you. I wanted to know if the equipment was original."

Min was pleased. "Ah, my reputation precedes me. Where are you from that you have knowledge of my attributes?"

Daniel answered, "We're from Earth. We are Tau'ri."

The Goa'uld's smile faltered at that. "The first world. I... I thought the Chaapa'ai there was lost or destroyed."

"We recently discovered and reactivated it."

Min's voice was wistful. "I remember that world with such fondness. My people were born from that womb." He shook himself, and returned to his jovial presentation, picking up a morsel from a plate and popping it in his mouth. "Eat, my friends."

Jack responded sarcastically, "Sorry, but we make it a rule to never eat with sn..." Both Sam and Daniel shot him warning looks. "...Goa'uld."

Min raised his perfectly shaped eyebrows at Jack.

Daniel broke in, "So, Min. How long have you been on Ahkmim?"

"I will tell you the story." He turned suddenly and leaned towards Sam. "Do not be afraid to satisfy yourself, my dear. I promise you that the food is not poisoned or drugged. I have no need for such things."

Sam was startled. She'd been perfectly happy to let the guys carry this conversation; chatting with virtually naked sex gods was a bit unnerving. She glanced at the Colonel again, found him still glowering at Min, and declined with a brief shake of her head.

"No matter. You want to know why I'm not busily enslaving or torturing you. I do not share my brethren's fondness for territorial conquest. My own needs are simple. They involve the giving and receiving of pleasure and knowledge, not senseless bloodshed." He looked almost apologetic. "I prefer the company of humans to that of my own kind, especially since the others seemed incapable of leaving me to my own pursuits.

"Many years ago I decided to consolidate my kingdom on one planet, and when by accident I discovered this one, I knew that it was perfect. I was able to bring my people here, and as I never leave this paradise, I've not had the displeasure of meeting another Goa'uld since.

"You will find here none of the afflictions which plague most human worlds. There is no hunger or want, no destruction or warfare. All my people live in harmony and health." He raised his head proudly. "There are now over seven billion humans on this planet."

He looked at the wall and a view screen came to life, showing images of different beautifully laid out cities and towns, abundant crops, smiling children and natural scenery. "This world has been meticulously planned to achieve the greatest comfort with the least environmental disturbance. Everyone has access to as much education as they desire, and the citizens have even begun to improve on my own designs. They have taken the technology I brought here in the first days, and advanced it so that should we ever be attacked, we can defend ourselves. I have ordered that everyone be trained in the use of the hand device that you experienced earlier just in case the necessity arises. My people are happy; I am their guide, their inspiration, their Adored One."

Carter said, "That device was very interesting. Could I get a look at one of them?" Jack gaped at her like he couldn't believe she asked that, and she shrugged back that it didn't hurt to try.

Min considered her. "Perhaps in time."

Daniel ventured, "So, all of that sounds pretty ideal..."

Min nodded proudly. "Heaven."

"Yeah, right. Heaven. But we've never met any Goa'uld who would be satisfied with such a quiet lifestyle. Don't you want,...more?"

"I have more. Every day new souls are born, with their infinite diversity. So many personalities to get to know, so many people to bless, so many exquisite bodies to stimulate. My people are happy, but they are also capable of all the drives and emotions available to any human. I never get bored with such variety at hand."

Teal'c asked, "If you oppose the Goa'uld, why do you not join with the Tok'ra to overthrow them?"

"I do not oppose them. I do not care what they do out there, as long as they leave me alone. Let me ask a question. How did you find your way to Ahkmim?"

Daniel explained, "We discovered the gate address on the ceiling of a temple on a jungle planet."

"That was Koptos. That's very clever of you. Tell me, was the gift I left still functioning?" Their expressions answered him. "And did you enjoy it?" He smiled at their evident discomforture and furtive glances. "Oh, my dears, I am so glad you've come to join me. Bestowing my blessings upon you will be a great pleasure."

O'Neill protested, "No one said anything about joining you. In fact, when we were so rudely zapped by your hand thingy, we were in the process of trying to go home. It's been real swell meeting you and all, but now that we've had our little chat, I think we'll be on our way."

He stood, and the others followed.

Min responded, "Oh, no. It's not time for you to go yet." As the foursome turned toward the door, an attendant entered the room and raised his hand. SG1 was frozen mid step. While they were aware, they could not move a muscle. Min walked amongst them briefly, intimately caressing each with long elegant fingers, his erection standing out in front of him. Min purred, "My exquisite guests, there is much deeper knowing to be had between us." He faced them. "A depth of knowing such as you have not previously experienced." They could not respond, and Min nodded to the attendant. With alarm Sam saw him raise his hand again, and darkness descended.

Teal'c was determined that this Goa'uld would get nothing out of him. Min had presented himself as friendly, but that was obviously a lie. He had been tortured by the best, and did not doubt that he could withstand anything the outcast could devise, even up to the point of death. It was almost boring to find himself once again in this position. He'd lost count of how many times superiors or adversaries had tried to intimidate or break him, and this seemed to be one of their favorite settings.

He was in a cold, dark stone dungeon, standing between two solid metal posts to which his wrists were attached by manacles, arms stretched straight out on either side. His ankles were similarly restrained, leaving him very little mobility. To one side there was a rack of pain inducing implements standing at the ready. Oh, and they had also completely removed his clothing.

Teal'c stood with his head held high, awareness turned inward to conserve his strength for the coming ordeal. He had repeatedly attempted to enter kel'noreem, but his mind seemed unable to achieve that escape. His thoughts returned repeatedly to concerns for his team mates. He was sure that he could endure this abuse, but images of DanielJackson, O'Neill and...Samantha...similarly bound and awaiting torment, or worse experiencing it at this very minute, haunted him.

Teal'c was usually able to turn his thoughts from such useless imaginings, but this time they threatened to overwhelm him. He had seen so much pain inflicted by the Goa'uld, had inflicted so much pain himself, that in order to remain useful he usually had to shut all that away in a corner of his mind. Now, though, those memories passed before him in an endless stream. He concentrated all his willpower into pushing the agonized faces, screams and flowing blood aside in order to strengthen his mind to resist whatever was in store.

Suddenly he was aware of another presence, and opened his eyes to find Min standing before him. Teal'c returned the Goa'uld's gaze, his eyes filled with disgust.

Min watched him for a minute, then spoke in a conversational tone. "Jaffa, you no longer serve the Goa'uld, but you once did. Now you seek to defeat and destroy the

Goa'uld, but you once called them master and did their bidding. I know that you must have killed, and maimed and tortured many, and you must have been good at it to become First Prime.

"Yet you serve the Tau'ri. I can understand your attraction to them, they are sweet morsels, are they not? But so delicate. Not only do their bodies break easily, but their wills are weakened by concepts of good and right. How do you do it? How do you coexist with those who force you to hide your true nature? Do they have any idea of the depths of your rage and hatred, and of the lengths to which you are willing to go to appease those impulses? You may say that you have changed, but even if they believe it, you must know the truth."

Teal'c didn't answer, but continued to glare at Min. The alien could not possibly know the suffering they had all recently endured because of Teal'c's unquenched hatred, yet his words cut close to the bone.

Min took a step forward, bringing him almost chest to chest with Teal'c, and looked into his face, head tilted inquisitively.

"You still have much pride. I would like to know how this is possible, as well. A fine physical specimen such as you," he brought his hand up as if to touch Teal'c, but it hovered an inch away from his chest, "must have been called upon to pleasure your Lord and his followers many times; I'm sure that Apophis' tastes have not changed in this last thousand years. They should have stripped you of any sense of dignity or individual worth by using you at their whim. Or did you have a highly placed protector who interceded on your behalf? Still, you could not have been completely shielded from the appetites of your Gods. Surely they did humiliate and debase you. Yet since they did not break you, those experiences must continue to fuel your loathing.

"Teal'c. I have a gift for you today. You will have the opportunity to express your hatred for the Goa'uld." Min's eyes flashed glowing light several times and then dimmed. "I am a Goa'uld. You may act out your hatred for my race upon me."

Teal'c flexed his hands, pulling on his chains. I truth, he longed to wrap his fingers around the neck of this parasite ridden-abomination and squeeze until bones snapped and flesh leaked through his fingers.

Min continued, "You are bound because if you were able to act directly, you would become lost in the pleasure of it, and it would be over too quickly. If you must observe and direct, then you can savor your victory to its full extent." The Goa'uld motioned with his hand, and two leather clad attendants moved closer. "All you need do is tell these men what you want. They have been instructed to obey your commands, short of releasing you. Anything else, Teal'c. Tell them what you would have done to the Goa'uld."

Now Teal'c spat back, "Like all Goa'uld, you lie. They will not seriously harm you. And you have a sarcophagus to heal any injuries that should befall you. It is a false offer."

"You are correct to assume that I have no intention of dying permanently. But whatever you tell them to do they will, and I will experience it all, the same as you would, or your friends, or any mortal. You do not believe me? Test it. What have you to lose?"

Teal'c glowered at the man before him, thrown off balance by the idea of finally being able to exact his revenge for all the wrongs done to him and to so many others. "Why would you do this?"

Min's green eyes looked at him steadily. "It is my blessing to you."

"You will take it out on my friends."

"I will not. This is between us."

Teal'c looked at the two attendants. He ordered, "Strike him."

The first one obeyed immediately, and landed a powerful blow into Min's kidney. Moments later the other followed with a fist into the side of his head. Min stumbled and grunted in pain, but quickly regained his composure.

"That was just the start. Surely you can do better."

Teal'c's lips curled up in a sneer. He wanted to cause this monster pain, he wanted to personally rip open his chest and pulp the insides, then tear his head off. He wanted to annihilate this Goa'uld so that it was as though it had never existed. He observed the two attendants again. Would they really do what he ordered?

After eyeing the rack of implements, he commanded, "Use the pain stick."

One of the men removed the long metallic tube from the rack, moved in behind his master, and rammed the device into his back. Min's lithe body arched, and light shone from his eyes and mouth as a scream ripped from his chest. After a moment the stick was withdrawn, and the victim fell to his hands and knees, panting for breath.

Teal'c felt elation rise up in him. It was sweet, to issue an order and see a Goa'uld suffer. He liked it.

"Again," he instructed.

The attendant complied, and another scream echoed in the chamber.

Teal'c smiled with satisfaction, and didn't hesitate. "The hot iron. Burn him."

The other man retrieved the tool. "Where would you like it done?"

"Strip him. Burn him on the inner thigh.

The man ripped off Min's flimsy skirt, and pushed him onto his back on the floor. The Goa'uld didn't resist, but one attendant held him down by the shoulders while the other pushed his legs apart and lowered the glowing rod to the smooth, tender flesh. Muffled groans broke through Min's clenched teeth, but did not drown out the sound of sizzling flesh, nor distract from the distinctive smell.

"The other leg."

The man did as he was told, holding the burning brand to the skin for several long seconds. When he withdrew it, Min lay weakly recovering from the pain.

"On the chest, on the neck." Teal'c felt powerful. At last he could return some of the torture the Goa'uld had inflicted. Of course the creature would be taken to a sarcophagus when he was finished, but in the meantime he could relish being the one to control the fate of one of his hated enemies. He was actually grateful to Min for restraining him; it was so pleasurable to watch while others obeyed his word.

"Strangle him."

The creature writhing in pain on the floor was pulled to his knees, and a cord was looped around his neck and pulled tight. Min's hands involuntarily went to his throat, digging at the rope as he struggled for breath, blood running down his chest from the aggravated burn on his neck. His eyes were on Teal'c's face until they began to roll back into his head with asphyxiation.

"Release him. I do not want him to die so soon."

The satisfaction of power was overwhelming. This was like a hundred of Teal'c's deepest fantasies come true. He realized that with the intensity of it, he had grown hard, his erection standing out proudly in front of him. Yes, there was definitely a sexual thrill to dominating his enemy in this manner. He could see that Min was becoming aroused, too. The perverted monster must actually enjoy the pain.

"Bind him in chains and bring him before me."

An interconnected set of chains was attached to the kneeling Goa'uld's ankles, wrists and neck, and the men dragged him over to face the Jaffa.

"Behold, beast. I do not kneel before any God. You kneel before me."

"I do, master. I will do anything you want. The Goa'uld forced you to pleasure them. Will you require me to pleasure you?" The strong lips approached Teal'c's throbbing organ, and touched the very tip, tongue darting out to lick a bead of pre-come off the end.

Memories flashed unbidden through Teal'c's mind. He had been lucky to be Bra'tac's favorite and thus spared much of what he knew happened to other Jaffa. But he was not spared all. He could tell himself that those humiliations did not diminish him, but in truth the wounds were still raw.

"Hold his head."

The men secured Min by the shoulders and hair, positioning his mouth in front of Teal'c's erection. He could simply thrust forward and impale himself within a Goa'uld's mouth. He knew that with his size, he could easily choke the detestable mutant to death in the act. Teal'c burned with desire as he looked down upon the perfectly formed body, bound, marked and bleeding by his command. The handsome face was upturned, mouth open, breath ragged. The green eyes observed him with a fiery gaze; watching, waiting for something.

Unexpectedly Teal'c saw himself from outside, witnessing one man about to force himself on another. He suddenly imagined how it would look to Samantha, or even worse, to DanielJackson; he could see the disappointment in the gentle scholar's eyes. And O'Neill. Would he approve of what Teal'c was doing? He found that he hoped not.

But they were not here. This was Teal'c's decision alone. He sneered down at the face inches from his straining, burning organ, and the green eyes abruptly glowed with the golden Goa'uld light. Teal'c made his choice.

Daniel's room was cozy and intimate. The only lighting came from candles arranged in groups of two or three on small shelves around the walls. There was a low, plush divan covered with cushions, and a small table holding jugs of wine and water. Bowls of flowers and intricate tapestries completed the sensual atmosphere. The temperature was pleasantly warm, which was good because Daniel was totally naked.

he mused, --Classic bordello.--

He wondered if people in other disciplines had the same problem, of being disappointed when they finally met a famous personage that they'd written a paper about in school. Daniel smiled to imagine the reaction Professor Krause would have to the updated history of the Chief of Heaven, he'd probably get a failing mark on that essay.

As he sat perched on the edge of the divan, Daniel absently scratched a pattern on the velvet cloth. It was no use worrying or being nervous, they hadn't actually been hurt so far, so if he kept his head he might find a way out of this. Not easy to do. He found himself distracted by the visual images around him, what he could see of them without his glasses; the colors, the textures, the flowing lines and sharp angles. The rich feel of the material under his hands kept him fascinated for several minutes before he shook himself back to the present.

In the present he was thirsty. Daniel eyed the jugs setting on the table wistfully, knowing that he wasn't supposed to drink. But he had been there for hours without any sustenance, and he might weaken if he became dehydrated. Well, maybe a compromise was in order. He'd have a cup of water, but not touch the wine. The water was so cool and refreshing going down, that he decided to have a second cup. If Min wanted to drug him, he had already had plenty of opportunity, and it felt so good to quench his thirst.

He sat the cup down with a bang as the entrance to the room opened. Min stepped in, and the door closed behind him. His captor stood in the doorway examining Daniel, and Daniel looked back. Min was still wearing the same light skirt. Daniel mused that he'd so often seen paintings or carvings of Egyptians in this kind of attire, but had never seen it actually worn. Well, now he knew.

Min looked radiant. His skin was oiled and glowing, his black hair brushed to a glossy sheen. He looked relaxed and self assured. And why wouldn't he? He held all the cards here.

Daniel decided to make the first move. "So, what next? The setting here leaves little to the imagination as to what your plans are."

"Do you fear me?"

He answered sarcastically, "Well, ye-ah! I haven't had very many experiences with Goa'uld that were pleasant. In fact, let's make that none."

Min moved closer and let the full force of his personality wash over Daniel.

"I want you, Daniel, but I will not force you. I intend to make you want me." He sat down, and Daniel scooted back along the divan to keep some distance. "You are beautiful and tender, yet so undeniably male. Your deep, musky scent alone would be enough to arouse me."

The nervous young man noticed that Min's phallus of mythic proportion was rising to attention out from under the edges of his skirt. He watched it with an almost scientific fascination as it extended to its full size.

"Gee, I know you're just being polite, but don't get up on my account."

The other man turned the full intensity of his magnetic gaze on Daniel. "Do not be afraid. You have a naturally sensual nature that you haven't fully explored. Your body is capable of heights of ecstasy that you cannot imagine, and what's more you could give pleasure such that your lover would never again be satisfied with any other."

He leaned forward and touched Daniel lightly at the base of his throat, and let the finger glide slowly across his chest to brush softly over one nipple. Daniel froze and held his breath as his skin burned under the contact. Part of his mind said that he should be over on the other side of the room by now holding up some weapon in a defensive posture. Why exactly wasn't he doing that?

"Don't." His voice sounded weak even to him.

"You must know what is offered before you can refuse it. You are a seeker of knowledge. Don't you wish to know what more your body can teach you?" Min's finger continued it's journey downward across Daniel's flat abdomen.

"I do just fine. I didn't come here asking for sex lessons." His eyes were drawn from Min's face, to the hand on his belly, then back again. His own loins were stirring under the stimulation, much to his chagrin.

"Didn't you?" Min's other hand grasped the hair on the back of Daniel's head, and held his face steady as his own drew in closer. "You have a hunger in you, a need for more. A need for passion and release. I see it in your eyes. Do you deny this?"

"Yes." His voice squeaked, and his face was red. His mind urged him, --Move away, dammit! Get away from him. It's too dangerous.--

Min's strong hands guided him backwards to lie down on the divan, and came to rest on Daniel's shoulders. The Goa'uld leaned over him, the lust in his eyes unconcealed. He began to caress Daniel's arms, looking greedily down at the reclining figure. Daniel felt the gaze brush over him like a flame, and realized that he wanted Min to want him. As the hands moved to his hips and down over his thighs, Daniel groaned and threw his head back. Min moved his thighs apart and knelt between them, caressing Daniel's now compelling erection with the smooth, slick skin of his belly.

--Get out now, Jackson! Don't let this happen! It's not right.--

Min lowered himself onto Daniel's body, buried his face in his neck and licked and nipped into a spot under his ear. He whispered, "Tell me that you want it, Daniel."

All the nerves in his body where on fire as Min pressed against him. He slowly rocked his head from side to side, fingers clutching at the cloth below him, but he didn't move to push the other away. Min's mouth closed over his own, the tongue delving deeply, sucking, provoking. The feel of warm fingers stroking his balls caused him to jerk his pelvis into the sensation.

He groaned and stiffened. Oh, god, what was he doing? He forced out, "Stop."

"I don't really believe that you want me to. I think you still want more. I am going to give you more, and you are going to thank me for this blessing with your passion."

The beautiful dark head lowered again to Daniel's body, tasting him. One hand grasped his erection, while the other skimmed lightly over his skin. Daniel could barely think as his physical senses overwhelmed him. He was panting, his face contorted with desire and confusion.

Min lifted himself off slightly, and suddenly Daniel felt a burning pain stab through his chest, and cried out. He tried to focus his eyes on the man leaning over him, and saw that he held a small flail in one hand. The handle terminated in three narrow strips of solid leather. Where had that come from?

Daniel stared wide eyed at Min, who held his gaze intently. Without warning the flail flashed out and struck Daniel's chest again. He gasped, and almost sobbed as a bolt of desire shot through him making his erection jump. The pain appeared again, on his side just below his ribs, and he arched into it, moaning, "Oh, god!" Min squeezed and pulled at his stiff penis, making him writhe uncontrollably. The flail fell again, on his belly, causing him to scream and clutch at Min's arms.

The other man shook his hands off, and moved down to grasp Daniel's shins and push his knees up towards his chest and apart, exposing his groin and ass. His head bent and Min sucked Daniel's swollen member into his mouth for a fleeting minute, then moved down to lick his balls. It felt so good, Daniel was afraid that he would come any moment. Then the tongue continue on its path, touched the edges of his asshole and delved sensually. Sensation exploded through Daniel, making him buck and moan.

Pulling back up, Min leaned his shoulders onto Daniel's knees, holding his legs in position, then grabbed his wrists and pinned them to the upholstery, effectively immobilizing the young man. The fire of desire seemed to flow through Daniel's entire body, then abruptly his awareness focused as he felt something press against his opening. He looked up into the Goa'uld's face, and knew that it was the tip of that spectacular phallus. It prodded again, so near to breaking through. Min purred, "Tell me that you want it. Say yes."

Daniel stared at the Goa'uld, and he did want it. But he didn't. Oh, god! The Goa'uld. Jack. The need. What was he going to do?

Min pressed against him again more firmly, and nearly sent Daniel over the edge. "Say yes."

Mind and body aflame, Daniel reached inside to find the ability to form his one word answer.

Samantha thought that her accommodations were perhaps the most luxurious rooms she'd ever been in. The bedroom contained a soft four-poster bed, surrounded by heavy wooden furniture and artfully placed mirrors. It was obvious what you were supposed to be watching in the mirrors, but the overall effect fell short of being tacky. The bathroom contained ornate marble fixtures, including a giant sunken bath, and the sitting room was large and light, with a huge plate glass window looking out over a flowering garden. On a side table a variety of tempting finger foods and drinks had been arranged. Choosing to ignore them, she sat on the arm of a huge overstuffed chair in front of the window.

Well, she'd been in worse prisons. There was even a way out if she chose to take the route of breaking the window and jumping down from what she estimated was a second story height. If she did that, she might actually make it back to the Stargate, but that would mean leaving the guys behind. Sam decided to hold that option in reserve.

She wasn't too pleased with the costume design department. Someone had seen fit to dress her in an ivory colored strapless corset-like piece, which pushed up her breasts, but only covered them as far as just above the nipples. A silky skirt flared out from the fitted waist and flowed intimately over her belly and hips to brush the tops of her thighs. She wasn't wearing anything underneath. Her most private bits were covered, but it was annoying as hell. She normally wouldn't even go into a store that would sell things like this. Not her style at all.

Wandering around again, she caught sight of herself in a mirror, and looked away quickly. Then she looked back to make sure it actually was her that she'd seen there. Sam thought that she looked, well, 'different' was a place to start. She'd expected to look like a whore, but she didn't. Somehow, the outfit managed to look elfin and innocent, while emphasizing her shapely feminine features and long legs. She stared for a while, turning to look at herself from different angles. It was...nice. Not that she'd go out in public in it, but...

She finally pulled away from the mirror, and wandered out to the sitting room again. It had been hours of just sitting here and waiting, not knowing what was happening with the guys.

The guys. There was the men's club of three, and then there was her. No matter how she tried, she'd never be one of the guys. She could cut her hair short, wear shapeless clothing, shoot and fight with the best of them. Even her name, Sam, was masculine. And what did it get her? Nada. She could think circles around most of the men on the base, but she'd never be invited over for sports night. So what was the point?

She drifted back into the bathroom and idly fingered various bottles on a shelf. Popping the cork of one, the luxurious sent of lavender swirled around her. She eyed the bath tub. When was the last time she had allowed herself a nice long fragrant soak in a tub? She could hardly even remember.

Sam set down in a chair before a counter lined with various cosmetics, perfumes and powders, and looked at the reflection in the mirror in front of her. Maybe it was the lighting; she hoped she didn't really look like that. Pale, thin face with too large eyes, slightly garish lipstick her only concession to feminine vanity -- a not entirely successful one, she thought. Her hair not so much styled as fall-where-it-will, and now starting to look a little flat. She picked up a small brush and fluffed and arranged it so that it looked a little softer. Maybe a little bit of powder....

She stopped. What was the use. She was just good old 'Sam'll fix it'. It's not like anyone would notice the difference. It's not like anyone really looked at her.

Well, that wasn't entirely true. Teal'c was looking at her. After almost five years he'd finally noticed she was a woman. Dear Teal'c. Better late than never.

She heard a sound and returned immediately to the sitting room. Min was standing just inside the doorway. Her breath caught at the sight, just like it had the first time she'd laid eyes on him. He was the archetype of stunningly attractive male. And he was holding a long stemmed pale pink rose in his hand.

He took a step forward, and held the rose up before him. "This was my favorite flower on the first world. I made sure to bring some here, and tend them carefully so that I would never be without their beauty. I brought this one for you, but now that I'm here, I see that it is inadequate. No flower could really be appreciated in your presence; your own beauty would eclipse it."

She blushed. --Careful, this guy's a real charmer.--

He moved another step forward, and continued, "You are exquisite, and yet you are not tended carefully, are you? That is difficult to understand."

"I don't need tending. I'm a Major in the United States Air Force."

"Even so, this is for you." He took a final step to reach her, and held out the rose.

Despite her intention to throw it in his face, she took it, and sniffed it. The smell took her back to her grandmother's garden, and when she was a child. She and her brother would make garlands of flowers for their heads, tie scarves around their necks as capes and pretend to be the prince and princess. He would offer to slay dragons for her, and bring them to lay at her feet.

She looked up at Min, and found him studying her intently. "Such loveliness, but the others don't see it, do they? It isn't entirely their fault, though, because you hide it well. Such a pity."

He reached out and guided the head of the rose to her face, and used the petals to stroke her cheek. Sam blushed again, and looked down. Of course that was exactly where that impressive penis was starting to make its appearance again. She backed away suddenly. "Oh my god."

"No, I am not a god, just an admirer of feminine beauty. How could any man look on you and not want you?" He moved towards her again and gently ran a finger over the upper curve of her breasts. "How could any man look on you and not want to caress your skin, feel your nipples in his mouth, move inside you?" Desire shown in his astonishing green eyes.

As those images took form in her mind, Samantha felt a wave of heat wash through her. Alarmed, she jumped back, walked to the window, and faced him again. "Stay away from me."

"I will not hurt you, Samantha. I am just telling you how attractive you are. Perhaps you do not hear that often enough."

--Don't listen to this. He's trying to manipulate you.--
She knew how vulnerable she was to flattery. All it took on the rare occasion that it happened was for a man to show the slightest interest in her, and her knees wobbled. Of course, for the most part that seemed to mark them for imminent death, but that wasn't a concern in this case.

She spoke boldly, "I don't know what you're trying to prove with this, but I want to be taken to my friends. Where are they?"

"Your friends are well. They are enjoying the pleasures that my home has to offer, while you continue to hide. Of course it is easier for males to indulge their senses, is it not? One of the advantages of being a man. It's a shame, though, that you should be left out."

They wouldn't actually be doing anything, would they? Teal'c wouldn't? They had all done it before, though. All except her. As a woman, she couldn't sample any of the native offerings. A ripple of self pity rose into her throat. Why was her body the only one off limits?

Suddenly, Min was directly in front of her, so close she could feel the energy flowing between them. She looked into his eyes, which were darkened with passion. He whispered, "Oh, Samantha, please let me touch you."

He exuded animal magnetism, and her body responded. She could feel desire tingling in her; her breasts longing to be handled, her vagina aching. Her mind told her that it was pheromones, a trick. Her body said so what?

Confused, she turned away from him to face the window. Gentle sunlight fell on her skin like warm breath, and she tried to inhale deeply to clear her head.

Min moved in behind her, and she could feel his chest pressing into her back. His hands came around and cupped her breasts from beneath, partly on the cloth of her outfit, partly on the delicate skin. His thumbs brushed lightly at the swell of her breasts.

"Samantha, you deserve so much more. You deserve to be seen and appreciated for the sensual, beautiful woman that you are. Any man would feel lucky to be able to touch you like this."

Frozen in place by the conflicting emotions storming within her, Sam felt his fingers begin to unhook the fastenings of her corset. Her breasts bobbed as the first hooks came loose. She sucked in a breath, and braced her hands against the window at head height.

Min murmured into her neck, "So beautiful. So exciting. I want to see all of you. I want to see you naked before me. I want to be inside you."

She was burning up. As his hands worked down her abdomen, she could feel his long phallus rubbing against her butt. Its hardness increased and pushed more insistently onto her. God, it was so intense, so primal; the attraction of the male and the female. And she was very female.

As Min's fingers released the last of the fastenings at her belly, the entire garment slid over her hips and onto the floor. She stood naked, hands pressed against the glass, panting. His hands found her breasts again, and began to massage them. He growled, low and rough, "So beautiful. Any man would want you."

Then he shifted even closer to her, and his erection slid between her thighs. He rocked slightly, so that she could feel its length rub along her slit. She gasped and let a small cry escape.

"Look out, Samantha. Look outside the window."

She forced her attention to focus outward, saw the colorful flower garden sprawled below them, and then noticed the gardeners. There were three men kneeling within the beds, tools in hand. One was looking up at the window that the pair were standing in. Sam saw him speak, and the other gardeners followed his gaze. All three stopped what they were doing and stared.

Min's fingertips brushed her nipples, then trailed down over her ribcage to her belly and then her hips. He said softly, "When those men look at you, they do not see a Major in the United States Air Force. They do not see someone who's smart or someone who's trying to prove herself. All they are seeing is an incredible, perfect female body. They are seeing my hands on that body, and wishing it was them."

Sam was almost frozen with shock. She could feel the gaze of those anonymous men taking her in as she stood totally exposed before them. It was...liberating. She was in that moment a purely sexual creature, displaying to potential mates. As Min moved more urgently between her legs, one of the gardeners slid his hand into his trousers, and began to rub himself.

"See how they want you. It has been too long since you've been looked at like that."

She was so aroused, she thought Min might be able to feel how wet she was. But still she was able to note that the last part wasn't true. Only this morning Teal'c's expression had been reverent as he had examined the space between her legs before lowering himself onto her and sliding inside. She gasped again at the feeling that memory produced, the feeling of being filled and completed.

Min's hands slid down her legs and back up along her inner thighs, starting to move them apart. "Let me love you now, while they watch. Let all the world see my pleasure as I push into you. Let me make you feel as beautiful as you are."

She groaned as her mind tried to think it through. She was locked in the embrace of an ardent, virile man who was on the verge of entering her. Three more looked on expectantly, excited by her body. It would be so easy to go along, to say the sex god made her do it. It was just sex, no complications or consequences. It would just feel good. Something special just for her. Did she want it? Did she need it? Would she allow herself to have it just this once?

Jack had resumed pacing in his cell. He'd actually convinced himself to sit down for a while but it was no use, the inactivity made him nuts. Aside from the movement of his body, there was nothing to distract him from his worries. There were four institutional gray walls, one securely locked door, one narrow bed frame attached to the wall covered with a thin mattress, one basic wooden table, and a sink and very minimal sanitary facility in the corner. It was an awful lot like a prison. In fact, it was just like a prison. And he was locked up and couldn't do a damn thing about it. Helpless.

Since they'd taken his watch, along with everything else he'd been carrying or wearing, and there was no window, he didn't know how long he'd been in there, or how long he'd been unconscious before waking up. He figured that the temporal deprivation along with hunger, cold and nakedness were all part of the plan to shake him up, make him easier to interrogate.

He was on to them. It'd take a lot more than this to rattle him. What he was worried about was the others. Teal'c would be okay. None of this would faze him. Of course, for that very reason they might try something a lot more drastic with him.

They didn't know what they were taking on with Carter. She'd probably bite the head off the fist person who tried to get near her. Still, a woman is a hell of a lot more vulnerable in a situation like this than a man.

And Daniel, he was one tough guy. Nobody knew that better than Jack O'Neill. But he would be hating this. He'd be frustrated and he'd be scared. And when they started the interrogation, or whatever was on the agenda, they might hurt him. They might even do more than that. God, it'd been so fucking long, they might have already done something to him. Daniel could be lying dead in a pool of blood right now.

Jack knew that it was counterproductive to think like this, but each time he tried to assure himself that Daniel was fine, he'd flash back to all the times his friend had been hurt in the past. On those occasions, the only thing that kept him from going into shock was the requirement to act in some way. When they'd been forced into downtime after Daniel's memorial service, he'd nearly lost his mind, as the General's car window could testify. When Jack had left him to die on Apophis' ship, he'd still had to get through saving the world. That done, he'd thought it a good day to die. When those damn Bedrosians took Daniel away for questioning and brought him back obviously tortured, Jack had been ready to chew through the bars of his cage, electrified or not. And Netu. And etcetera, etcetera. Daniel had only been his team mate and friend then, now he was the love of his life, and living without him was not going to be an option. The thought of anyone causing him pain made his stomach hurt as though someone were driving knitting needles into it.

--Maybe I should quit this job. Maybe we both should. Too many bad things can happen out here, and they could happen to that one gorgeous, irritating, precious archaeologist. I don't think I can risk him anymore.--

Daniel had to be alright. And Carter and Teal'c, too. All his kids, all his family. He'd come too close to losing each of them at one time or another. What if their luck ran out?

The soles of Jack's feet were starting to hurt from wearing a path into the hard slate floor. He knew he needed to rest, even sleep, but if he did, then he might wake up to find that something awful really had happened. His fears might be real then. If he could keep moving, somehow it kept anything bad from catching up. Jack recognized that this was irrational, but couldn't stop the train of thought.

The loop of worry and fear was just starting another circuit when the door opened. Tensed and ready to spring, Jack faced Min as he entered. He somehow managed to refrain from screaming, and merely barked, "Where are my people? I want to see them right now."

Min shook his head and said placatingly, "Patience, Jack O'Neill. Your people are very, very well. I have been enjoying spending time with each of them, sharing the blessing of my body. They were each a bit reluctant to accept what I was offering, but they found their way to me in the end."

--I don't believe that. He's got to be lying. None of them could stoop so low.--

Min moved into the room and leaned against the table. He continued conversationally, "Teal'c was perhaps the easiest. He has had experience with Goa'uld in the past, so his training allowed him to slip back into the role of being controlled by one. The conditioning which Jaffa receive is designed to make them pliant before the sexual demands of their masters. You may have thought that he was loyal to you now, but in the end all Jaffa wish to serve the Goa'uld, and after a little persuasion he served me very well."


"Your Major Carter of the United States Air Force took some more convincing. She is a fiery and stubborn woman, but a woman nevertheless. Most of them only need to be shown who's in charge, and then they open their legs easily enough. With one such as her, the battle for conquest is nearly as enjoyable as the victory." He smiled in satisfaction. "Oh, yes, and she does know how to please the man who succeeds in dominating her. But I don't suppose you would know about that."

--My god, if he's hurt Carter. Could she have...?--

"And then there's Daniel." Min signed, and a dreamy look came over his face. The knitting needles were active in Jack's gut again. There's no way that Danny would betray him. Couldn't happen. No way.

The Goa'uld continued, oblivious to Jack's torment. "I spent more time with him than with the other two combined. The poor boy was most distressed at the beginning. It seems he felt committed to some agreement with you." Jack's eyes widened. "Oh yes, he told me all about it. He was most reluctant, so I'm afraid I had to take him by force that first time. Once he'd experienced the ecstasy of sexual intimacy with me, though, he abandoned all thought of you. I'm sorry, but I think that he no longer finds you quite adequate now that he's had the best."

--No. No. No.--
Daniel wouldn't leave him for a snake head. Not even a drop dead gorgeous one that is a famous Egyptian sex god who has everyone swooning at his feet.

"He wishes to stay with me now, but insists on speaking with you. Something about doing the right thing by telling you in person. I think a clean break is better, personally, but I'll let him have his way on this. It is definitely worth spoiling him a little to keep him sweet and willing."

Jack stood frozen. He'd feared losing Daniel to violence, but the thought that Daniel might choose to leave cut though him like a knife. What if he wasn't enough for his lover?

Min continued sympathetically, "You mustn't feel badly about this. I'm sure it's no reflection on you." He stood, stepped closer in front of Jack, and looked him over frankly. "Of course, you are on the old side for satisfying a vital young man. That's definitely not your fault. And you do still retain some charm." His hand closed around Jack's flaccid member, and began to stroke it. Jack remained imobilized with shock. "Hmm, not very responsive. I have some potions that could probably help you with that." The hand continued the massage.

Jack's heart was pounding in his chest. This couldn't be happening. It couldn't be true. It was his worst nightmare, one he'd barely admitted to himself; he was too old, and Daniel was leaving him. Even if it wasn't true now, it was only a matter of time. Nine years is a big age difference when you start getting up there.

Min whispered as he worked Jack's penis. "That boy is delightful when he's exploring his sensual side; willing to try anything, insatiable. And the sounds when he's being pleasured orally, those small gasps and cries that he doesn't even realize he's making..." Jack began to stiffen at the memory of those noises, the memory of Daniel's flushed face. "The way he opens himself to receive me with his whole body, finding gratification in the slightest touch to any part of him. Though of course there are some places, like the side of his throat, which make him writhe and moan." Jack knew that was true; the uncontrolled wriggling was one of the funnest parts. Min continuted to taunt him, "I introduced him to some new erogenous zones, and he was very receptive."

Having succeeded in bringing Jack to a full erection, Min released him and stepped away. "It's too bad that you'll never again be the one to give him that delight. Just by way of apology, I could let you make love to me, then perhaps I could give you a few suggestions so that your next partner won't leave you quite so soon. That is if you can keep it up long enough to achieve the objective."

The damm finally broke. His fists clenched painfully. --God DAMN that smug bastard! He WONT take Daniel away from me. And he WONT ridicule me and get away with it!--

Min turned his back and bent over slightly, leaning his hands on the table. "I found it quite intriguing how alike Daniel's body and mine are. Especially our rear ends, don't you agree?" He parted his legs and swayed his hips. The transparent cloth revealed enough to let Jack confirm the truth in that statement. The high, rounded buttocks set between narrow hips and tapering into firm muscular thighs were almost familiar.

The Goa'uld continued casually, "So I wondered if it wasn't a bit incestuous that he should take such pleasure in fucking me up an ass that's so like his own. Not that that was a problem for me, I certainly enjoyed fucking him up the ass, too."

Jack hated this creature. How DARE he touch Daniel? He deserved to die for that. Jack wanted to hurt him. He wanted to show him that he shouldn't be underestimated. He wanted to slam into him until Min was bleeding and begging for mercy.

In a blur of motion Jack stepped up behind Min, ripped the skirt away, and shoved the other man down onto the table. God, he really did look like Daniel from that angle.

Pressing his hard-on into the cheeks in front of him, he leant over and growled, "I'll show you what it's like to be fucked by Jack O'Neill, and I guarantee you won't forget it any time soon."

Min twisted his head to look back over his shoulder, eyes smoldering. "You do that."

Sam woke up with the feeling of satin beneath her finger tips. She was lying crossways on top of a bed covered in shimmering cloth in a luxuriously decorated room. Beside her lay Colonel O'Neill.

She rolled onto her side and poked the Colonel in the shoulder a few times. "Sir? Wake up, sir." The man didn't respond. Since he was out of it, she would evaluate the situation on her own.

Scrambling off the side of the bed, Sam looked down at herself; still wearing the revealing corset thing. Super. She moved carefully around the room, looking for exits or hidden dangers. The door she found easily enough, but it was secured from the other side.

The dangers were not the least bit hidden. Shelving units lined much of the wall space, and they were filled with items the intent of which was clear; 'sex toys'. Some things looked like they might be kinda fun, but most had a decidedly painful appearance. There were jars of ointments, possibly lubricants. There were whips and cuffs and chains. There were a variety of implements, she didn't want to even imagine what they were for. There were plenty of things to use as weapons if it came down to it, but Min had shown them that he was in complete control up till now. That was unlikely to change.

Sam returned to the bed in the center of the room. O'Neill lay sprawled across it just as underdressed as she was. He wore only a filmy split skirt much like Min used, the silky material draped and clinging so that its wearer was nearly fully revealed.

She stood looking down at her CO as though from a great distance. Nearly five years they had been working together. They knew each other well. They trusted each other with their lives. They cared deeply about each other. Sam had even thought at one time that something more might be happening between them before they very mutually backed off. But still, they weren't truly friends, not in the sense of really talking or sharing about themselves. They were each a bit uncomfortable with the other, and most of the time it was easy to maintain a professional distance.

Now, as he lay asleep or unconscious, she let herself look. She'd seen quite a lot of his body before; field missions didn't lend themselves to much privacy. But his baggy clothes hid a lot of the truth, and she'd never seen him quite this way. He was such a big man, tall and broad of chest and shoulder. His body ran in straight lines from the sides of his solid torso down past his hips to the muscular thighs that were clearly defined under silky cloth. The lightly draped bulge at his crotch left no doubt as to how well endowed he was in that area. He had more scars on him than one person should be allowed to have. Sam was tempted to run her fingers over his light, graying chest hair to see if it was as soft as it looked. She smiled and pushed that impulse aside.

Sam sat down on the end of the bed, turned, and continued to study the man beside her. No doubt he was attractive, but he was also beginning to show his age. From the lined face on down, he had started to lose the firmness she knew Daniel, for example, still maintained.

Daniel. Sam hadn't quite gotten her mind around Daniel and the Colonel being together. Not together like that. Having sex. Of course, they'd had a unique relationship since the beginning, some kind of special connection the others couldn't begin to touch. But Daniel and 'The Colonel' were so habitually at odds, so different, like oil and water. O'Neill's harsh sarcasm often wounded the linguist's sensitive feelings, while Daniel's single-minded determination often threatened the Colonel's sense of control. O'Neill's almost manic energy kept him constantly in motion, tough to catch, tough to pin down. But looking at him now, so soft and open in sleep, she could begin to understand. In the stillness, there was a space where someone like Daniel could get in. This was a side of him he usually only showed in brief flashes; the man, not The Colonel. She could imagine them lying together like this, coming together in tenderness. She smiled in amusement. --Or not! Come to think of it, they're both pretty high energy individuals.--

She reached out and gently moved a lock of hair off of his forehead. O'Neill stirred, and opened his eyes.



Jack struggled to sit up, and swung his legs over the end of the bed. He wobbled broadly for a second and moaned, "Whoa! Still on the merry-go-round." He ran his hands over his face and head, then his mind seemed to clear and he focused on her.

"Are you alright? Did Min hurt you? He said.... He said he'd taken you. He said he'd taken all three of you." His brown eyes showed the anguish he felt.

"Well, he lied, at least about me. It was close, but when I asked him to stop he did. I'm fine, really."

The man nodded shallowly to himself, some kind of battle going on below the surface. "Good. That's good. Maybe Daniel and Teal'c are okay too." He began to absently knead his naked, scarred knees.

Sam asked, concerned, "What about you? Are you alright?"

"Yeah." He was barely audible, looking at the floor. "He just.... He almost made me do something I didn't want to do."

Sam nodded and answered sadly, "Me too."

He looked up at her then, and there was a new quality between them. For the moment all the barriers were down. For the moment there was no rank, no gender. No differences in temperament or aptitude, no expectations of themselves or each other. They were just two people who were both feeling vulnerable and a little scared.

Jack reached over, picked Sam's hand up from her thigh, and laced his fingers through hers. The locked hands rested on the mattress between them, and they simply sat there on the opulent bed in the Goa'uld playroom, and waited.

When Teal'c regained consciousness he found himself in bed with DanielJackson. Well, on top of the bed, but very much with DanielJackson. Teal'c was laying on his back, with the scholar draped almost entirely over him, their arms and legs intertwining them intimately. They also seemed to be very nearly naked.

Teal'c focused his senses out into the room, and was assured that they were alone. He gingerly extricated one arm from beneath the other man, and reached up to reposition Daniel's face so it wasn't being squashed straight into Teal'c's chest. The archaeologist murmured and shifted slightly, actually tightening his grip on Teal'c. Part of that shifting involved a movement of the young man's thigh which massaged the length of Teal'c's penis. Said organ responded promptly to the stimulation.

Teal'c groaned inwardly. A man would have to be dead to not be aware of DanielJackson's charms, but Teal'c would not act on it. Not only because there had never been any invitation from Daniel to do so, but also because strong and capable warrior that he was, Teal'c suspected that he would be dead within minutes if Colonel O'Neill had the slightest hint that he had ever thought of Daniel that way. Teal'c smiled at the image. The Colonel was nothing if not possessive, as was well. It is a man's right to safeguard his treasures.

Holding him close, the Jaffa gently rolled Daniel onto the bed, following through with his own body so that he lay facing the younger man. He pulled his arm out from under Daniel's back, and propped his head up on his hand. A quick visual inspection revealed no major injuries, but several red streaks on Daniel's chest and abdomen. Teal'c's anger grew. Min had hurt his friend. He did not wish to speculate about what might have been done to him.

With great tenderness, Teal'c brushed his fingertips across Daniel's shoulder. "DanielJackson. Please awake now. You are safe here."

Daniel's face contorted briefly, then he opened his eyes blinking at the light. He looked at Teal'c's face, inches from his own, and his eyes widened. "Teal'c! Are you...are you alright?"

"I am, DanielJackson. And are you well?"

"I'm fine." But his gaze shifted away too quickly. He was hiding something.

Before Teal'c could question him, Daniel slid over and sat up on the edge of the bed, pulling the thin material of his 'skirt' up over his thighs. He rubbed his hands into his eyes and commented numbly, "Knocked unconscious three times in one day. We're having some fun here." Daniel wrapped his arms around himself and looked off at a point on the wall.

Growing ever more concerned, Teal'c sat up next to his friend. "Daniel." The use of his first name alone and the gentleness of the tone made the young man turn to him. "Will you tell me what has happened?"

Daniel tried to look away, but was drawn back to the focused gaze. His face twitched briefly through various emotions, and finally he said, "I,...I'd rather not."

"When you are reunited, will you tell O'Neill what has happened?"

Now there was fear in his reddening eyes. "I don't know." He looked away again.

Teal'c knew better than to pressure his stubborn companion. He satisfied himself with creating a variety of scenarios by which he could slowly and painfully dismember the repulsive Goa'uld.

Some time later the door opened, and several of Min's servants entered. Daniel and Teal'c stood and faced them apprehensively as the group approached. One of the men spoke, "You, Daniel Jackson, will come with us now."

A growl rumbled low in Teal'c's chest and he said, "He will not!" The large man stepped forward in front of Daniel, but the servant raised his hand revealing Min's device. Without a flicker of effort, he froze Teal'c in place, and motioned to Daniel to follow.

As he stepped around his friend, Daniel said softly, "It's okay. We don't have any choice." Head hanging, he followed the others out of the room.

As they proceeded down the ornate hallway, Daniel saw another group heading towards them. Sam was in the middle of it! As they came along side, the two team mates moved toward each other and locked their hands around each other's wrists. Daniel could hear Jack's voice shouting from further down the hall, "You sons of bitches! Bring her back here right now!" but for the moment concentrated his attention on the woman.

"Sam, are you okay?"

"Yeah, you?"

"More or less." He took in what she was wearing and blurted in surprise, "Wow! You look great!"

Sam laughed out loud at the inanity of a comment like that under the circumstances, and the sound helped to ease some of Daniel's tension. She replied affectionately, "Well you're not looking too shabby either. The skirt's a good length for you."

One of the servants pushed himself between them while they tried to maintain their hold on each other. "You will accompany us now. Do not oblige us to use force."

As their hands were torn apart, and they were jostled farther down the hall in opposite directions, Sam called out to him, "It'll be okay. We'll get out of this!"

Daniel watched her over his shoulder until he stumbled over one of his guards, then his focus shifted to the doorway in front of him. The attendants pushed him into the room and closed the door. Pacing a few feet away, Jack suddenly stopped and stared at Daniel.

Jack's piercing brown eyes raked over him, looking for any signs of damage or distress, and came to rest on the red marks across Daniel's torso. Jack took a step forward, and raised his hand to touch his lover.

Daniel took a quick step back, and crossed his arms across his chest. "It's alright. I'm fine."

Jack stopped, looked Daniel in the eyes, and apparently didn't like what he was seeing. Without moving, his gaze reached across the space between them. He ordered, "Come here."

"What about not giving anything away to the enemy?"

Jack let out an exasperated breath. "Danny, judging by what's happened so far, I don't think I have any secrets left in this place. And I need to know how you are. Come here. Please."

Daniel was afraid, but he couldn't refuse Jack. He moved forward slowly and let the other man take him in his arms. When he didn't relax into the embrace, Jack pulled away again, led him by the arm to the bed, sat him down, and squatted in front of him.

Jack tenderly touched the side of his face, and spoke so quietly it was almost a whisper, "Daniel, sweetheart, please don't shut me out. I'm here with you, baby, tell me what happened. What did that bastard do?" When Daniel didn't answer, Jack continued, "Did he...rape you?"

Daniel shook his head no, and with tears in his eyes let his forehead fall onto Jack's shoulder. He just sat there like that with his hands in his lap.

Jack prompted softly, "Tell me."

Daniel drew his head back a bit and agonized, "How can I tell you? It wasn't Min, it was me. Well it was him, but mostly it was me. I don't know myself anymore. You don't know me, either."

Again, gently, "Tell me."

Daniel shifted away to put some space between them. He really didn't want to talk about this, but Jack deserved to know. He couldn't keep a secret from him. Daniel took several deep breaths to calm himself, so he could speak coherently.

"He said he wouldn't force me, but he did try to seduce me. The things he was saying, the way he was touching me, it was....I didn't want it to, but it was getting to me. I could barely resist him. I thought I might be drugged or something, but then...." He wanted to stop, but forced himself to continue. "He used a whip on me." He motioned to the red marks to illustrate. "It was a small flail. It hurt, but you can see it didn't do any real damage. But Jack," he looked his friend in the eyes, "I liked it. He used a whip on me and I liked it, and it wasn't because of any drugs. I got excited, aroused, like you wouldn't believe. I wanted more. I wanted him, so much! He was so close, he was going to enter me, and I wanted him to." Daniel trailed off in despair.

Jack's face was pale. "What happened then?"

Daniel wiped an errant tear from his cheek, and continued sadly. "I thought of you. He's a Goa'uld, Jack. I wanted a Goa'uld to fuck me." His face crumpled with anguish. "But if I let that happen, how could I ever offer myself to you again? I'd be disgusting. I am disgusting. I'm so sorry." He hung his head. "I wanted it. But I knew I didn't want him. I wanted you. I said no and he stopped. But that doesn't matter, because now I know it's there inside me. You can't love someone who could feel like that, Jack. You can't trust me."

Jack moaned, "Jesus, Danny" and pulled the younger man close, wrapping his arms around him. "That is so totally not true. I do love you. I know what you're thinking, but this isn't important. Let me show you that it isn't." Jack held him and stroked him and kissed him in a way that was definitely heading into lovemaking.

Daniel pulled back. "Here?"

"Yes, here." He grew serious. "Look, by now Min knows all about me, and it sounds like he knows a lot about you. And it is a sex god's palace, not like there's anything he hasn't seen before. But mostly, I need you back. I need you to release this guilt and come back to yourself. Let me show you that what's going on in that gorgeous head of yours isn't the only way to look at it. Trust me, Daniel."

Of course Daniel trusted him, he just thought Jack might be wrong. This time his constant protector might not be able to kiss it and make it better. Daniel still felt confused, but this was Jack in front of him, so reluctantly he nodded.

Jack darted over to one of the cabinets, and brought back a jar of what looked like oil. He unfastened the hooks on the waistband of first his, then Daniel's single items of apparel, though they'd posed little impediment anyway. Lying back on the bed, he motioned for Daniel to lie on top of him. As Daniel complied, Jack opened his legs to let him settle between them and wrapped his arms tightly around him .

The silver haired man murmured softly as he stroked Daniel's tense body, "Relax my love, it's just me. I know you love me, so just let it happen."

Jack wanted him to forget what had happened before. Sweet of him, but it wasn't going to be that easy. He realized that he'd spoken that thought out loud when Jack answered, "No, I don't want you to forget. I want you to understand. And I want you to trust me now, and go with it. I promise you, Daniel, no matter what happens it'll be alright."

--God, I don't want to screw this up and hurt Jack, but I owe it to him to try.--

He nodded again. "Okay."

The closeness of Jack's beautiful body, the caresses, the soft words and kisses all conspired to awaken the ardor within him. Daniel didn't feel very comfortable about that, it was too much like what he'd felt with Min, but Jack kept urging him to let go, so he tried to relax and not think too much.

Jack began moving under him, tilting his pelvis in a way that told Daniel what he wanted. Jack wanted Daniel to make love to him. He ran his fingers into Jack's hair, and held his lover's face in front of his own. "No, Jack. I...I need you."

Jack tried to shake his head, but Daniel held it still. "Daniel, I don't think..."

"Listen, I don't know if I can explain it, but if this is going to help anything, I need it to be you inside of me. I need it to be YOU inside of me. Please, don't make me beg."

The older man's resistance broke in an instant. He wrapped his arms more tightly around Daniel's body and held him closely to his chest. "I would never make you beg for anything you needed. Maybe for fun, but never for serious. I'll love you, Daniel."

Amidst more kisses and murmurs, Jack oiled himself and prepared his lover, who continued to lie on his chest. Then, straddling the other man, Daniel raised himself up and positioned himself to feel the tip of the penis against his opening. He froze for a moment, eyes closed, breathing hard, as the memories warred with the present moment.

"Daniel." The beloved voice called to him. He opened his eyes and looked into the gentle countenance below. "Stay with me here, love. Stay with me."

This was Jack. He'd do anything for Jack, give him anything. He could give him himself at this moment, at the very least. Eyes locked with warm brown ones, words of praise and encouragement in his ears and Jack's hands on his hips, Daniel lowered himself slowly, taking his partner into his body. This was Jack. Jack wanted to be inside him. It was okay.

Oh, God, it was more than okay. When he had taken the other completely into himself, Daniel stopped and savored the feeling of being joined. He rocked very slightly, to feel the full length inside. Daniel's breath came in small gasps, and he fought back tears of gratitude for being able to experience this again. After a moment he began to move rhythmically, and Jack raised his knees and braced his feet against the mattress, changing the angle of penetration. Daniel gasped loudly as the hot organ scraped against his prostate. This was so good, and it was Jack.

Daniel began to lose himself in the sensation. He moved instinctively to increase the intensity of contact, as Jack's hands roamed up stroking his chest. It was so good, he melted into the pleasure.

Suddenly, a sharp pain cut through him, as Jack ran a fingernail roughly along the length of one of the red welts on his chest. Along with the shock of it, a bolt of fire shot into his groin, increasing his arousal. His mind reeled. He couldn't believe that Jack would do that, would remind him of the whip right then. Daniel felt devastated that the pain should still excite him, especially when it was Jack who caused it. He still needed release, and couldn't stop moving, but through it stared open mouthed at Jack, sorrow creasing his brow.

Jack didn't say anything, but watched Daniel's face carefully and continued to stroke his chest and arms. When Daniel began to calm down after the shock of the scratch, Jack moved his hands so that his thumbs rubbed the hardened nipples, sending further ripples of pleasure through his body. Then without warning, Jack pinched the nipples relentlessly, causing Daniel to cry out at the excruciating pain, just as a further flame of desire rushed to his sex.

Daniel couldn't believe it. Jack had hurt him again, caused him pain on purpose. Was this punishment for what had happened with Min? Was it that Jack really wanted to humiliate him? But the pinching of nipples was a pain that they had shared before, each giving and each receiving as part of their love making. What was going on?

As the intensely aroused man continued to rock helplessly, Jack's voice broke into his confusion. "Daniel, listen to me. It's the same thing, Daniel. It's sensation, it's feeling you're alive. It's only wrong if there's intent to harm. Don't worry about this." He ran a finger gently over a lash mark on Daniel's abdomen. "You're just experiencing more of life."

The tears began to flow now, as he looked down on Jack. The love he felt for this man exploded through him, washing away his doubts.

Jack finally took hold of Daniel's straining erection, and began to pump it fervently as the young man cried out his emotion. Jack's voice cut through to him louder, holding him present. "Who do you want, Daniel?"

He managed to drag the answer out of his mouth. "You!"

"Who loves you?"

"You do."

"Who are you with right now?"


"Does anyone else matter?"

"God, no!"

Jack laughed breathlessly, a massive smile on his face, as he thrust and pumped into their mutual passion. "Good boy!"

With Jack's voice ringing in his head, Daniel slipped over the edge, and his own orgasm prompted his lover to follow suit. Both their wordless voices sounded out into the room, then Daniel slumped bonelessly into Jack's arms, tears still running down his cheeks. They both pulled great, contented gulps of air into their lungs as their heart rates began to calm.

Jack cradled and rocked Daniel to him as he kissed the tears away. After a minute the older man broke the silence.

"Daniel, I'm going to say something to you, and I want you to listen. Are you listening?"


"Good. This is it: I want to know all about you. I want to share everything you're experiencing without judgment or reservation. There is nothing you could ever feel or do that would make me stop loving you. If you ever forget that, let me know and I'll remind you again. You get it?"

"Yes, I do. Thank you."

"And I hope that you can do the same for me, because I'm going to want to talk about what happened between me and Min, too, and that's not gonna be the easiest thing in the world."

"I want you to tell me. I love you, Jack."

"All settled then. Welcome home, Danny."

They nestled against each other, holding the love between them. After a while they fell asleep.

When Sam was ushered into the room, she found Teal'c standing dejectedly in front of the door. His expression lightened briefly, then clouded over again. He said with longing, "Samantha."

Her heart jumped at the sight of him. He was so solid and real, everything about him said home and safety. She was suddenly afraid that he would find out about what she had done and turn her away. Then his expression broke through her own fears, and she realized that he was in great pain himself.

She walked to him and let her fingertips settle on his arm. "Teal'c? Are you alright?"

His answer was formal and distant. "I am uninjured."

"But are you alright?"

He gazed at her solemnly. She couldn't believe the depth of the uncertainty in his eyes. She'd never seen that before. Even when he'd been brainwashed by Apophis, he'd been sure of himself. She grasped his biceps and massaged them gently. "Teal'c, sweetie, what's wrong?"

He shook his head and pulled away from her. Turning his back, he answered, "I have behaved very badly. I have done things that you would not approve of. I fear that I sully your purity and goodness by my presence."

Sam rolled her eyes self depreciatingly. "God, Teal'c, if you only knew. Purity is not a word that applies to me." He turned his head and narrowed his eyes at her. Fear coursed through her stomach, but she continued, "Look, I don't know what went on with you, but I think we haven't been acting much like ourselves today. I know I haven't. Are we going to let Min come between us? Can't you talk to me about it?"

Teal'c turned and walked to the bed and sat down on the edge, his head hanging despondently. After a moment he looked up at Sam, sad, but more open. She joined him on the bed.

Hands clenched in his lap, he said, "When I was with Min he taunted me. I should have withstood his goading, but I did not. My hatred for the Goa'uld and all that they have done caused me to become like them. I took pleasure in causing pain, I could not inflict enough torment. I have become what I hate." He looked at her, willing her to understand. "I do not like myself right now, Samantha."

Her face crumpled in empathy, she leaned into him, rested her head on his shoulder and murmured into his neck, "Oh, Teal'c." She placed her hand over his heart and asked, "Do you still feel that way?"

"That is the worst part. It was not a momentary aberration; yes I still feel the hatred. DanielJackson was here with me before you arrived, and when I saw that Min had hurt him, the same desire to destroy returned. I do not know when it will happen again. I do not know if you are safe with me."

"I am safe with you."

His posture softened slightly, and he brought his arm up around her. "I...I want to be worthy of you."

"You have a lot of reason to hate the Goa'uld, don't judge yourself so harshly. Maybe it would help if you didn't think of me as perfect. I've had to face a side of myself today that I'm not too comfortable with. If you expect me to be perfect, then...well, I can't. Do you think maybe we could just be flawed together?"

He gently pulled her onto his lap and held her tightly. His voice strained with emotion he whispered, "Samantha."

She wrapped her arms around his neck and rubbed her cheek against his. "Sweet Teal'c. I still want you. Please say that you still want me."

His low voice rumbled, "Do you wish me to show you?"

She smiled at him tentatively, "Yes, please."

He lifted her, turned, and lay her down on the bed. He leaned over looking down as though he didn't know where to start.

Sam helped him out by reaching up and pushing the corset top down away from her breasts, and looked at him invitingly. One large hand moved to trace the outer curve of one breast, then his head lowered to take the nipple in his mouth. She moaned and arched her chest upward, and his mouth moved to the other breast while that sensual hand covered the first.

Her hands cupped the back of his head, encouraging him to continue sucking and stimulating her, then trailed urgently across his muscular shoulders, trying to pull him closer.

Teal'c slid one thigh between hers, pressing himself against her. Feeling his desire, she groaned and pulled at him more insistently, trying to insinuate her hips underneath his. He shifted fully on top of her, and spread her legs further with his knees. His mouth covered her upper chest and neck with lingering kisses, as his hands locked with hers and pressed into the mattress. Their lips met and their bodies began to thrash together in increasing passion.

Sam loved this feeling. She loved the wanting and the seeking. She loved the weight of him, and the contrast of his dark and her pale skin. She loved the heat they generated between them here in bed, and just by meeting each other's eyes across the room. She loved learning his ways and his needs. She loved him.

Teal'c murmured something against her neck in a language she didn't speak, but understood perfectly. He adjusted the angle of his hips and rested poised at her opening. Their eyes locked, and he slid forward, stretching and filling her inch by inch. Sam heard small cries that could only be coming from her, as the intensity of the sensation increased. "Teal'c! Teal'c!"

Entering her until his penis tapped against her cervix, he then partially withdrew and thrust in again harder. She cried out and arched into him. "Oh god, yes!"

He thrust again and she could feel the power of his body concentrating in their joined sexes. His smoldering eyes caught hers and he growled, "Are you enjoying this, Samantha?"

She gasped, "YES!" and arched up into him again. They moved against each other, with each other, sharing the raw ecstasy of their fervent coupling. He called out, "Samantha!" and she willed him onward with her mind and body. He thrust in hard, and she felt him come, the pulse and heat deep inside. Her vagina contacted as her own orgasm ripped through her, obliterating all other sensation.

Flushed, sweating and sated, they disengaged, and turned to lay on their sides facing each other, hands stroking sensitized skin as they recovered.

Looking deep into his eyes, Sam asked, "Are you alright now, Teal'c?"

"Yes, I believe so."

They shared a smile that said much more, and began to relax.

Forehead to hers, Teal'c said almost shyly, "SamanthaCarter, you look very pretty in that clothing. I hope that we will be able to take it back home with us."

"Honey, if we can't I'll go out and get another outfit just for you. Or two or three."

"That would be acceptable."

Jack and Daniel were led back to the room where they had all first met Min. Jack snapped at the attendants, "Well thanks a bunch for letting us walk somewhere for a change."

Barely a minute later Teal'c and Carter joined them. Jack went over and inspected them thoroughly. He looked at Teal'c carefully, "Everyone okay?"


"Good. Look, I don't know what all this is about, but we really need to be getting out of here, ASAP. Anyone got any ideas?"

Before they could respond, the door opened again and Min appeared.

All four of them shifted into alert, defensive mode as the tension in the room skyrocketed. Min entered, but stopped quite a distance away. He placed his hands on his hips, and asked patiently, "So are you all feeling better now that you're back together?"

Jack forced out between clenched teeth, "You are an evil, slimy snakehead bastard. You get your kicks for today, or do we have more fun and games in store?"

Min walked around them and poured himself a cup of wine from a pitcher on the sideboard. Turning back to them, he answered, "Everyone calm down, and we'll talk about what transpired. You will not be harmed. Is everyone calm?"

Jack responded, "I think calm is a lot to ask for under the circumstances. I think we can compromise by refraining from tearing you into little bitty pieces."

Min sat his cup down and looked at them openly. "You really don't know what happened here today, do you? You each have been blessed. I see that you do not understand that yet, but perhaps in time you will."

"Oh, right. Being drugged and abused is a real blessing."

"I would put it differently. You were not drugged. Not in the sense of altering your minds or controlling your behavior. You were all exposed to a mild form of nishta, one which merely relaxes you and lowers the defenses which you erect around your inner selves. It eliminates your inhibitions. It allows you to act on your true hidden desires.

"If any of you had acted on the desire to join with me in sexual union, no matter the source of the impulse, you would have been bound to me forever. None of you was forced into any action and unfortunately each chose to withdraw from the encounters, but had you carried through I assure you that you would each have experienced the most intense sexual climaxes of your entire lives. There is a chemical reaction which takes place when one couples within the influence of the nishta, opening one to an unimaginable ecstasy which they cannot then live without. Had you succumbed, you would not have wanted to leave me. If another had compelled you to do so, then you would have pined and wasted until you were allowed to return. Connection to this level of physical awareness would, in fact, have been a blessing for you." Seeing the skepticism on their faces he continued, "You have seen the happiness of my people. This is not through mind control, but is the result of the liberation that I have taught them to achieve. They truly love me and one another. You do not know what you have refused."

Min looked sad. "I'm most disappointed that none of you chose to accept this blessing. I really, truly wished for you to stay. It is rare for any individual to resist, and that four of you should do so in one day is most disheartening. I fear the bonds between you were too strong for me to loosen. I understand that more clearly after seeing you together."

He moved to stand in front of Daniel, and looked him somberly in the face. "I especially wished for you to stay, Daniel. You posses a unique blend of qualities that I would have cherished, and my existence would have been enhanced by your presence. For this reason I pushed you much farther than I should have." Min actually faltered, a guilty expression passing briefly over his face. "I very nearly....It took more self control than I am accustomed to exercising to keep from taking you against your will. The effect would have been the same, you would have stayed with me, but it is not my way to rape. I apologize for my weakness."

Daniel's face was pale and tight, and he was trembling slightly, but Jack resisted the urge to move closer to him. The young man deserved to be allowed to face his tormenter on his own.

Daniel regarded Min with a cold expression, and finally shook his head slightly. "I understand that you thought you were doing me some kind of a favor, but I...I don't forgive you. I can't, you hurt me too much."

Min sighed. "I accept that." He moved to face them all again. "I want you to understand, though, that the offer of unsurpassed sexual bliss was not the only blessing which you received today. I also made you the gift of self-knowledge.

"The effect of the nishta is not only sexual. The lowering of mental shields allows you access to the parts of your personalities which you hide away, even from yourselves. These are truly part of your essence, and you cannot be complete as long as you deny their existence. I provoked each of you in ways which made you face things about yourselves that you would have avoided otherwise, to your own detriment. I know that the process is painful, but someday you may appreciate the result."

Min looked at each of them piercingly. "Understand this. None of those qualities are in themselves bad. They all have their positive aspects if you can recognize them. Let me make that clearer for you."

He stood in front of Teal'c, who's downward turning mouth expressed his continuing disgust. "Unconfronted, your hatred can cause you to act impulsively and destructively. It can, however, be channeled to feed the very valuable strength you bring to the fight against the Goa'uld. It is only by refusing to see it that it becomes a danger to you and your friends. Welcome your anger for how it serves you."

He moved sideways to face Samantha. "You have long believed that your gender is a weakness and hindrance to your life. You have tried to suppress and hide your femininity so that your mental and physical capabilities could stand out, allowing you to be more comfortable in a male dominated world. But your feminine side is still there clamoring to be valued. By refusing to do so, you are wasting half of what you could offer. When the womanly qualities in you live and are expressed, it is an incalculable gift to these men who are your friends, and also to everyone you come into contact with. Value your beauty, and by this I do not mean your physical form, and do not be so selfish as to withhold it."

Min took a position once again in front of Daniel. "Similarly, you see your sensual nature as a weakness, and attempt to deny and suppress the need for ever more stimulation. You do not see that this is what allows you to connect so deeply to the people and events around you. You are fully part of the world and all its physical and emotional potential. If you embrace this fact, then not only will you be more effective in your interactions, but you will find that the universe will be able to nourish your body and soul as well."

Finally, he stood in front of Jack, whose gut was knotted with tension. He so didn't want to hear this. He. Did. Not. Want. To. Hear. This! He wanted to reach down that throat and pull the snake out by its tail. But the Goa'uld began to talk, and he stood spellbound.

"You know perfectly well the fear of loss that you hold inside, yet you try to pretend that it doesn't affect you. If you don't acknowledge it, then it can paralyze you, lead you to doubt your worth and abilities. It can also cause you to strike out in anger, hurting others unintentionally. But you see, your fear is the other side of the coin to your love. It drives your need to protect those you care for. Harness that energy, and it can be the source of powerful action for good."

Jack couldn't speak. He heard Teal'c choke out one word, "How...?"

Min turned toward him. "How, when I've only just met you, could I know so much about you? How did I know exactly what approach to make to each of you?" Min smiled fondly at the large man. "Many years of experience, my friend. The sexual self provides a means of access to the darker parts of human nature, where the greatest gifts of self knowledge lie. I have provided this blessing for many thousands, and have learned to perceive a person's essence through even limited observations. And none of you are nearly as unique as you probably believe yourselves to be."

O'Neill could barely take in all he had heard. He'd have to do some thinking later, but for now he was still angry. "So I suppose you think we're gonna thank you."

Min shook his head philosophically. "No, my dear. It is too soon, though in the privacy of your heart you might do so one day."

Daniel asked, "So what are we going to do? You said before that you would let us go."

The Goa'uld was slightly troubled by that. "Ah, yes, I did say that. Of course, at the time I assumed that you would all be choosing to stay here after your blessing. You understand that I have a problem.

"I am most willing to allow you the freedom to leave, as I have said, but you see, the continued existence of my paradise world is dependant on its presence being unknown to the others. If you go back, you will tell your world about us, and the information could easily fall into Goa'uld hands. My people would make excellent hosts or slaves for my ruthless brethren, and I would not put them at such risk. Our defenses are excellent, but we could not hold out alone forever, and many lives would be lost. And you, the Tau'ri, must have grown powerful if you are able to tempt a First Prime to join your cause. You will sooner or later feel the need to destroy me, simply for what I am. How can I let you go?"

Despite everything that had happened, Jack felt that Min was being sincere. They needed to find a solution that the Goa'uld could accept.

Daniel was obviously on the same page. He said tentatively, throwing Jack a questioning glance, "What if...what if we promised not to tell anyone?"

Min looked at Daniel doubtfully, and Jack nodded for the linguist to continue.

"What if we went back and said that Min's people were here but not Min, and that they didn't have anything to offer, and didn't want anything from us. The Tau'ri wouldn't have any reason to return, and there would be no additional danger from the Goa'uld."

"Why should I trust you to do such a thing?"

Jack stepped in, "Look, as much as I dislike you, I can understand your situation. We've visited a lot of Goa'uld controlled worlds, and most of them are pretty miserable. I'm not thrilled about leaving a planet full of people here at your mercy, but they're not in such bad shape. And we, uh, have a personal interest in not having to explain exactly what went on here."

Carter just had to point out another consideration. "Sir, from what we've seen, some of the technology here is more advanced than what the Goa'uld have. It's just the kind of thing we've been looking for."

--Dammit, Carter! First priority is to get out of here alive.--

"Way I see it, Major, this is Goa'uld technology. We don't exactly have access to it, now do we?"

"But sir,..."

"Ah!" He raised one finger. "Forget it." Turning back to Min, "So what do you say? You let us go and all is forgotten?"

Min studied him carefully, and Jack added one more argument. "You say you know us so well. Do you believe we'll keep our word?"

The serious, beautiful head nodded and he said slowly. "Yes, I believe you would." He thought for a moment. "Alright. You're free to go."

Daniel asked, surprised, "Just like that?"

Min nodded again. "I will take the risk. Should you attack us, you would not find it an easy battle. Our population is large, and they would all defend me."

Jack was ready to get into action. He'd had enough talking to last a lifetime. "Okay, kids, let's move out. Hey Min, we need our stuff back."

Now Min smiled mischievously. "Oh, I think you can return to your world just as you are. My little revenge for denying me the pleasure of your company."

Sam said to him, "We need the devices that were on our wrists in order to return home safely."

"Alright, I'll have them brought. Please follow Dominga, she will lead you back to the Chaapa'ai." He gestured toward an attendant in the doorway.

Teal'c, Carter and Daniel turned and walked away without another look at Min, but Jack stood for a moment regarding the Goa'uld. He was confused. The snake had caused them all so much pain, and yet was just going to let them go home.

Min said softly, "It is a pity we won't meet again. Treasure every moment with your jewel of great worth. You are a lucky man, O'Neill. And so is he."

Jack didn't respond, just turned and followed the others into the hallway.

The four of them were walking abreast down a wide, tree lined avenue. Children were running and playing around them, the parents relaxing or joining in. Sam wondered if it was always a warm Sunday afternoon here.

Daniel commented, "Well, Min sure wasn't your average Goa'uld."

O'Neill snorted. "Not average, but he doesn't miss it by much." The others looked at him questioningly. "He may be a benevolent dictator, but he's still a dictator. He's an arrogant, manipulative Goa'uld playing god to the locals. And he may not have forced us to stay, but he did his damnedest to get us to capitulate to him. He just gets his kicks from making people betray themselves. And those free psychotherapy sessions were forced on us, weren't they? Sort of a Goa'uld-style form of new age torture."

Daniel nodded, "I could have lived without it."

Teal'c nodded somberly.

They stepped out of the shade onto a sunny walkway that lead to the grassy park where the Stargate was visible. Sam glanced at her teammates, and stifled a giggle as an image rose unbidden in her mind.

Jack prompted, "Carter?"

"Oh, I'm just tired and a little punchy. Just thought of something funny."

"Care to share?"

Sam grinned and looked down at her bare feet. As they walked on, she started to sing,

Here we come

Walkin' down the street.

We get the funniest looks from

Everyone we meet.

While Daniel chuckled and Jack groaned, Teal'c looked at her strangely.

She smiled at him. "Another part of American culture that I really need to introduce you to some time."

As they approached the DHD, Sam moved towards it, but the Colonel stopped her, and faced the other three.

"Okay, we all clear on what happened here? Nothing of interest."

Daniel waved a hand at his skimpy attire, "What about...?"

"The natives insisted we use their dress, and we couldn't offend them, could we? One more thing, and listen up, people." He drew himself up in front of them. "We are, without a doubt, the best looking team at the SGC. When we go back through there, heads are gonna turn, and people are gonna be green with envy when they get a load of our collective assets. I want every one of you to project the attitude that if anyone says anything, anything at all, they can expect a prompt bullet to the head." He peered at them menacingly. "You think you can do that?"

"Yes, sir."

"Oh, yeah."


"Good. I knew I could count on you. Okay, Carter, let's do it."

As the wormhole engaged and Daniel pressed the code into the GDO, they formed their line again. Heads held high, danger shining in their eyes, the team stepped through.

Two days later O'Neill called an unofficial debriefing at his house, combined with Thai carry-out. They'd managed to make it through their med checks and debriefing with very little said, but between them there was plenty of unfinished business.

To start, they told each other what had happened in their encounters with Min, at a level of detail that led to each story to being about two sentences long. Aside from what each couple had shared between them, no one wanted to know too much more.

When the last had finished, they sat in silence for a few minutes, lost in thought. Then Jack signed, and said softly and seriously, "I know this has all been a lot more up close and personal than we would usually get, and I don't think we need to belabor the issue, but there is one thing I'm taking away from this that I think would be good for us all to think on.

"For the past month we've all been skating on thin ice, and I know I've been wondering if we were going to be able to continue to function as a team, or if our personal attachments would be too much of a weakness. I just wanted to point out that it was our personal attachments that saved our butts this time." He snorted and shook his head. "Maybe not the best choice of words, but what I mean is that when the crunch came, it was our strong feelings for each other that kept us from crossing the line. Would we have been able to resist if we were all still just friends, I don't know. Fact remains that we all came home, and that may be pretty much of a miracle. I'd say that in this case our relationships made us stronger, not weaker. We'll still have to be careful how we handle this, both off world and at the SGC, but I'm feeling much more confident that we're going to be okay. I propose that we just relax and do our jobs the best we can for as long as we can. What do you kids say?"

Samantha responded first. "I see what you mean, sir, and I'd like to try. But there are some things I'm still very uncomfortable with." Her face contorted with uneasiness. "I feel badly enough about keeping our relationships secret from General Hammond, but I know there's no other alternative, especially for you two." She indicated the Colonel and Daniel. "But now we've started lying to him directly. We totally misrepresented the situation on Ahkmim, and that's something we've never done before." She motioned to O'Neill to let her continue. "I know we had to promise to do that in order to get home, but once we start lying where will we stop? I feel I deserve to be court martialed for that alone."

Jack was the one who needed to address this concern, and it was the man more than the Colonel who responded. "I understand how you feel, Sam, and I don't know the answer. All I can suggest is that we watch ourselves, and be aware of that danger, too. If anything else happens, or if it gets to be too much of a strain for any one of us, we can talk again. It's always an option to go lay everything out for the General, and throw ourselves on his mercy. That might not be such a bad thing. You alright with that?"

The woman nodded, "Like I say, I'd like to try."

Teal'c agreed, "I too wish to continue serving with SG1."

Daniel nodded. "You know I want that too, as long as we don't compromise who we are. But I believe in you guys, and I can count on you to kick my butt if I stray too far off the path."

Jack brightened. "Dibs on being first to kick Daniel's butt!"

"O'Neill, I shall have to challenge you to ritual combat for that honor."

"While you're doing your macho thing, I'll make Daniel a cup of tea and strap a pillow to the endangered area."

"Thank you, Sam."

"You're welcome. They're just a couple of bullies."

"Ooo, Carter! I hear you sucking up to my archaeologist!"

The evening degenerated back to normalcy from there.

After the other couple had left, Daniel and Jack sat next to each other on the sofa. Daniel looked over at the man beside him with his 'You're so goddam hot I'm gonna have to fuck you till we've both got steam coming out of our ears' look. Jack's pensive expression transformed into a fetching lecherous grin.

Daniel knew that this was one of Jack's favorite looks to receive, right up there with 'I love you. I'll never leave you. And don't even bother thinking about trying to make me'. Daniel was going to make sure that one got a lot of play from now on. He'd been amazed and chastened when Jack had told him what happened with Min, and how it had only been the physical similarity that stopped him from completing the brutal act. He'd always known that Jack loved him, and was overly protective of him, but he hadn't realized that Jack needed him, too. And it had never occurred to him that he might feel insecure about his age or Daniel's feelings for him.

Daniel had been fooled on that by the gruff exterior, but no more. He'd spelled it out last night in bed while buried in his lover as deep as he could go. "Do you feel that, Jack? Do you think that's ever going to get old?" Jack grunted by way of response, which Daniel considered eloquent considering the man's current state of dissipation. Daniel continued, "Your body is amazing. I was a bit surprised to find out that I could feel this way about a male body, but fact is the shape has nothing to do with it. I love your body because it's yours." His lips tickled Jack's cheek, breath hot and moist. "It's you, Jack. You excite me, and that's not going to change. When you're 105 and I'm 96, I'll still be trying to cop a feel. We'd better start looking for old folks' homes with soundproof walls, or we'll scare the nursing staff."

Jack's blissful, teary smile told him he'd gotten it right.

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